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Discrimination

State and federal anti-discrimination laws prohibit an employer from discriminating on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, pregnancy, familial status (having children), religion or national origin. We have handled hundreds of unlawful discrimination cases, from filing a complaint to full trial, involving Title VII and the Florida Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). A discriminatory action can include: not being hired, being fired, denied training, not being promoted, being demoted, receiving less pay, etc. You can count on us to protect your civil rights.

If you win a case against an employer in Florida, you may receive:

  • Reinstatement, if you lost your job
  • Back pay if you lost money or missed out on a raise
  • Reinstatement of benefits lost
  • Monetary damages for emotional distress
  • Protecting Rights of Employees Before the EEOC

It is a basic right for all of us to be treated fairly and with dignity. This is especially true within the business world and there are federal laws that specifically protect employees from being discriminated in all work-related areas. These laws are often referred to as Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws. The EEO laws makes it illegal for a workplace to discriminate or treat an employee unfairly base on their race, sex, religion, age, disability, and other characteristics. If you feel that you were a victim of discrimination in the workplace, then you should contact us immediately. An attorney will be able to determine if your rights were violated and will be able to make sure you are fully compensated for the unfairness you had to endure.

EEO laws include the following legislation:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
  • Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Civil Rights Act of 1991
EEO Laws protect employees during all work-related activities. This includes everything from the hiring/recruiting process to job evaluations and promotions. There is no justification for the mistreatment of an employee and when such an event occurs, it is important that the situation is rectified immediately. We have the experience and knowledge of the employment laws and know how to apply them to get our clients the best possible outcome. If you were treated unfairly at your workplace, do not hesitate to speak one of our attorneys.

Sexual Harassment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines unlawful sexual harassment as “any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” Sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

There are rules and procedures involved in filing a complaint. We are here to guide you through the process and can answer any questions you may have.

The two most common types of sexual harassment are:
  • Quid pro quo: occurs when a person is required to perform some sort of sexual favor in exchange for advancement or even simply keeping a job.
  • Hostile work environment: occurs when a person is subjected to inappropriate remarks about their body, inappropriate touching and advances, or rumors about their sex life or sexual orientation. A hostile work environment also includes being subjected to inappropriate jokes and the display or public sharing of sexually explicit images.
If you have been subjected to either type of harassment at your workplace, do not hesitate to contact our law firm.

Although we have counseled many women in regard to their sexual harassment case, we are seeing a rise in complaints from men. Male or female, do not hesitate to call us to discuss your legal rights.

Take Action, Step by Step

Step 1:

If you feel you are being subjected to repeated sexual harassment, you probably cannot picture yourself talking calmly to your HR representative about it. Yet that is a solid, first step to take. There needs to be documentation of your complaint. Your employer needs to know you consider this a hostile work environment.

Step 2:

If the harassment does not end or your employer does nothing, you will need to file an administrative charge with the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) and the EEOC. Your claim will be investigated and the agency will try to resolve it with your employer.

Step 3:

Legal action. If the FCHR or EEOC cannot resolve your complaint, and decides that your claim is valid, you will get a “right to sue” letter. This means that you can bring your case to court. Talk to an experienced employment law attorney to ensure that your legal rights are protected. We will help you file the appropriate paperwork to the EEOC and represent you in mediation discussions. If a mediated settlement cannot be reached, we are ready to defend your rights with a lawsuit.

Whistle Blower/Retaliation

In the course of your workday, you discover something that seems unhealthy or unsafe for the employees or consumers of your company. You may have information about contaminated food, vehicles not being properly maintained, unethical accounting procedures, not paying employees, not paying taxes, or violations of OSHA standards. These are all potential reasons for whistle-blowing — the term we use when an employee reports a civil violation committed by his or her employer. If you have been fired for filing a complaint, or need to lawfully reveal a company’s wrongdoing, we can help.

But do you blow the whistle? Is this situation illegal or unethical enough to risk all this? Or should you be loyal to the company and pretend none of this is happening?

You decide to blow the whistle and as a result, your employer takes action against you such as harassment or threats, isolation, demoting you, transferring you to an undesirable work location, assigning new and undesirable duties, reducing your benefits or pay, giving you an undeserved poor performance review, or firing you. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, you can make a lawful claim as a result of this work retaliation. It takes a lot of courage to report wrongdoing in the workplace. Know how to prepare yourself and what to expect by talking to an attorney. We have helped guide employees through the process of filing a whistle-blower claim and/or filing a retaliation claim. It is not easy to arrive at the decision to blow the whistle, or suffer the ramifications of retaliation. An experienced lawyer at your side can help.

Contract Review and Negotiations

If you need advice regarding an employment contract, non-compete agreement, severance agreement, etc., we can assist.

If you have been presented with a contract, before signing, it is wise to have a lawyer review it to make sure your best interests are being represented. We can review general employment contracts, severance agreements and non-compete covenants. By necessity, your contract will be filled with legal language and stipulations. We want to help you focus on your career, not your contract. We will review your contract and explain each provision in easy to understand language. We will meet with you to ensure that this contract meets your goals. If it does not, we can negotiate on your behalf. If you have been laid off and have not received the compensation your employment contract provides for, reach out to our employment law attorneys. We will conduct a thorough contract review and fight for your rights to recover the funds you are owed. Similarly, if you feel the employer is unjustly enforcing a non-compete agreement, we may be able to help you negotiate new terms.

Unemployment

Denied Unemployment Compensation

Unemployment compensation programs are designed to provide financial aid to those who lost their job at no fault of their own, while they are seeking new employment. In most cases, if an employee quits his or her job, they are not eligible for unemployment benefits. However, if the employee left due to the work environment, then the employee may be entitled to unemployment compensation. Some legitimate reasons for leaving a job that would entitle you to unemployment benefits include harassment, discrimination, and hazardous working conditions. No one should have to be subjected to a hostile or dangerous work environment. If you were forced to leave your job for these reasons, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. When an employer creates a hostile work environment, they are not only disregarding the law, they are disregarding your rights as an employee.

Requirements that are usually needed in order to receive compensation after losing a job include:

  • Registration with the state unemployment office;
  • Evidence that the unemployed worker is looking for a job;
  • The unemployed worker is available for work;
  • A minimum amount of earnings or a minimum period of time worked over a specific previous time frame.

Each state has different programs. We can help navigate you through Florida unemployment law.

Unemployment Hearings

When a person is laid off or otherwise loses their job, he or she often counts on unemployment benefits to help them get by financially in the short term. This is not always the correct assumption to make. Instead, it is a good idea to seek skilled legal advice.

Sometimes employers may claim a person was terminated for improper behavior or other forms of misconduct. It may be the employer terminated your position due to your voicing an opinion or making a harassment claim. We will thoroughly investigate the background as to why you were terminated and will aggressively advocate for your rights.

When an employer challenges the claim of a former employee to compensation, then the former employee must go to court in order to dispute his former employer’s claim. In this situation, an unemployment attorney may be needed in order to ensure your rights are being represented. Since each state’s compensation program is different, only an attorney who specializes in employment law in Florida can give you the legal counsel you need. Our law firm has a vast amount of experience in dealing with such cases, and will aggressively fight for your rights.

Undocumented Workers

If you have been denied benefits, an appeal can be made to the Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI). This appeal must happen within 20 days of the denial of a request for benefits. Do not risk losing benefits trying to handle this on your own. Let us draft an appeal letter to the AWI and provide experienced legal representation in your unemployment hearing.

An initial unemployment compensation hearing can take place in our office or over the phone. You will be provided the opportunity to defend your claim to the hearing officer, and the employer will defend theirs. It is very important that you have all supporting documentation with you for this hearing, even if you have previously submitted them to the AWI. We are also available to represent you in any further hearings.

Employment-Based Immigration

You have found an outstanding employee and want to keep him or her with your company. However, immigration problems may arise when your employee is a foreign national. While wait times are generally shorter for employee green cards than for other kinds of resident status, the process can be tedious and time consuming. You do not want to risk missing a section of the form, being denied and having to appeal. When it is time to secure a visa, it is time to contact us. We have handled all kinds of visa and green card applications.

We can help determine which visa best fits your employee’s situation. We can help with:

  • Labor certification
  • E-1 Visa: treaty traders and qualified employees
  • E-2 Visa: treaty investors and qualified employees
  • H-1B Visa: workers in a specialty occupation
  • L-1A Visa: intra-company transferees in managerial or executive positions
  • L-1B Visa: intra-company transferee s in positions utilizing specialized knowledge
  • TN Visa: NAFTA temporary professionals from Mexico and Canada.

Under the NAFTA Professional (TN) visa, professionals from Canada can work in the United States if they meet several requirements, including the employee is qualified for the job and they have a job offer in writing. This visa is renewable for as long as the employee works for the company. If you need assistance regarding obtaining a TN Visa, we can help you understand your options.

Attorney Andrew OBeidy has first-hand experience with immigration; he is from Canada himself. If you are a citizen of Canada who has a job offer in the United States, we are here to help. You need to focus on your job. Let me do mine. Le parle Français.

How Can We Help?

Testimonials

Had a great initial intake and confirmed as we thought that we had a very weak case. As has been my experience with other good attorney’s whom I have interacted, they give you an honest assessment of your odds before committing to a long drawn out legal process that goes nowhere.

Gary Roquemore

“Once a client always a client.” I had a few questions, in less than an hour, Mr. Obeidy returned my call. At no additional charge he answered some questions. Thanks to a competent staff and his continued loyalty, I’m forever grateful!

Lisa Gachette

I have come across few professionals that truly go above and beyond the call of duty. Andrew O’Beidy is one of the most authentic and informed attorneys in his field. Jovial and charismatic by nature, Mr. O’Beidy brings his confidence and experience in law to the forefront; bringing resolve and justice to the most egregious of situations. A dedicated and exceptional attorney, he leaves no stone unturned in his diligent representation of his clients. If you are interviewing attorneys for representation in your matter, he is the lawyer you’ll want on your side. A walking encyclopedia of knowledge for labor and employment law, Mr. O’Beidy is the best of the best. A proponent of truth and justice; he never misses a step.

Cynthia Castiglia

Andrew and his staff were top notch. Every aspect of my case was dealt with clarity, intelligence and utmost care. Would highly recommend.

Gabriel Morales-Bermudez

Hiring OBeidy was the best decision for my case on discrimination. He is a powerful attorney that will fight for justice. He along with his staff are always there for you for any questions or concerns.

Nellie Cervera

Let me start by saying that this a very polished attorney. I hired him for some legal matters and he jumped into action immediately and did everything his said he would. Professional and experience is just the beginning. I was advised and explained in detail what my options were and how he was going to proceed! By far Andrew is one of South Florida’s finest attorneys ! Highly recommend 5 star!!

S. Bed, Past Client

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